4 injured NFL players you can't help but want on your fantasy football teams

      October 17, 2013 @ 17:19:35 PDT

Many fantasy owners are beyond curious. They're rabid. They're relentless. Is it too soon? Am I too late? Should I do it now? Can I afford to wait?

The answers to questions like those are rarely so clear-cut. I hope that how I see it for four of the most popular topics of such inquiries helps you arrive at more definitive conclusions.

RB Shane Vereen, New England Patriots

San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree
Are you serious?

He's probably the sensible player to stash, of those who've missed significant time. The Pats placed Vereen on IR after Week 1 but designated him to return, which he can do in Week 10 -- the team's bye. The broken left wrist shouldn't prevent him from being in peak physical condition when Week 11 rolls around.

Stevan Ridley seems to have awoken from his slumber, so Vereen will probably share touches. But New England's remaining schedule hints at tough sledding ahead, so the pass-catching dynamo ought to be called upon frequently.

WR Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle's major offseason acquisition may not even be available in most fantasy leagues anymore. I haven't bothered to look for Harvin because I have a hard time believing that he'll be ready to contribute anything of significance before the final few weeks of this season.

The 25-year-old thinks differently, obviously. Ian Rapoport reported that a source who's familiar with Harvin's rehabilitation from August hip surgery believes that the wideout could suit up in Week 8, right after his first practice week.

I don't see it. Michael Silver lists plenty of valid reasons. Don't get your hopes up. Harvin's eventual return to action may be better news for Russell Wilson's owners than Harvin's.

RB Andre Brown, New York Giants

There's a clear opportunity awaiting Brown in the Big Apple. David Wilson (serious neck injury) could miss the remainder of the season, and Brandon Jacobs' adrenaline-charged rumblin' 'n' tumblin' versus the Chicago Bears' gutted defense is an anomaly.

How long will Brown need to reach game shape? He was able to run near the beginning of this month, but it'll take more than a couple of weeks to regain what he lost since he fractured his leg. It shouldn't be too long after Week 10, when semi-fragile Brown can take the field, before the G-Men will want to mix in rookie Michael Cox, too.

Brown could still be a difference-maker, though. I have more hope for him than Harvin, easily.

WR Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers

You must be extremely desperate or insincere. Crabtree did tear the Achilles' tendon in his right leg, correct?

I'm sure that Crabtree can make it into a game this season. When he does, he'll be a shadow of the player who broke out with 85 catches for 1,105 yards and nine TDs last season. Don't waste the space, and look forward to 2014.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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